Better Safe Than Sorry

In early September, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) proposed a fine of $76,005 against a frozen foods and perishables logistics provider for 13 alleged safety and health violations at its Delaware...


“At Toyota, safety is our focus,” remarked Tim Barker, vice president of corporate service for TIEM. “I’m very pleased this is the second department at TIEM to achieve this milestone in the past 12 months, and I’m proud of these associates and their dedication to safe practices.”

Moreover, the company’s forklifts are regarded among the safest in the industry. Toyota’s exclusive System of Active Stability (SAS), introduced in 1999, is the leading lift truck safety technology that helps reduce the likelihood of a tipover, which translates to fewer accidents on the warehouse floor.

Earlier this year, an industry survey ranked Toyota’s lift trucks as the safest on the market. The company also ranked number one in terms of fewest safety-related incidents; most affordable to maintain in terms of safety; and the best overall in quality when it came to safety, durability, reliability, and value.

“Safety is a top priority for Toyota and obviously for customers, as it is consistently one of the top three purchase considerations for lift trucks,” remarked Brett Wood, president, Toyota Material Handling U.S.A., Inc. “We are honored to have this confirmation that Toyota’s efforts to continually lead the lift truck industry in safety technology and in quality are succeeding and recognized by customers.”

 

Behind the wheel

One of the most significant safety regulations impacting the trucking industry is the newly launched Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) initiative from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

According to Rose McMurray, chief safety officer for the FMCSA, the initiative was “created as a way to measure safety performance and compliance, determine safety fitness, recommend interventions, apply interventions, and track and evaluate safety improvements for FMCSA-related entities.”

Areas of operation that CSA will monitor include unsafe driving, fatigued driving, driver fitness (such as improper training), controlled substances and alcohol, vehicle maintenance, improper loading/cargo securement, and crash/incident experience. These seven categories are collectively referred to by the FMCSA as BASICs (Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Categories).

Somewhat troubling is a recent survey conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the research arm of the American Trucking Associations. Of the 14 questions contained in the survey, only 5.71 questions were answered correctly by the 4,555 truck drivers who participated in the survey. The two questions with the lowest correct response rate were “Which BASIC scores are publicly accessible?” and “Who has access to official driver scores?”

Dan Murray, vice president of research for the ATRI, told attendees of the 11th annual PeopleNet user conference last month in Boca Raton, FL that “CSA is very close to being a game-changer” because it raises barriers for entry into the trucking industry and it drives up costs.

Furthermore, “Drivers are not happy with CSA,” he acknowledged. “Many believe CSA will endanger their jobs and some of them are right.”

Murray added that there is a big gap between what trucking companies know about CSA and how well educated and trained their drivers are about the initiative.

 

At the port

The deaths of two longshoremen at the Port of Philadelphia in separate incidents last month underscores the safety risks for transportation workers and how frequently accidents occur. Of course, automation, modern equipment, and better training and safety standards have reduced injuries and death on the waterfront, but it remains a high-risk profession.

Following basic safety regulations cannot be overstated, according to Sheridan & Murray LLC, a Philadelphia law firm.

“Hard hats, seatbelts, visibility vests, and other safety equipment are provided for a reason. Statistics show that proper use of these items can help longshoremen and other workers prevent accidents or protect themselves if an accident occurs. Similarly, it is important to obey all posted speed limits and other traffic control devices to minimize the potential for injuries and accidents,” states the firm.

Automation is also helping to reduce worker injuries, although it’s not as widespread in the U.S. compared to European ports.

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